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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Positive messages are explicitly stated but funny enough to avoid preachiness: When given a choice, characters choose to help others and be kind rather than fighting. Characters debate moral issues, attempting to figure out what's right in complicated situations. Female characters are given central roles.
Positive Role Models
Jake the dog is impetuous and can be selfish, but Finn is typically inclined toward kindness. Susan Strong is given a powerful and sympathetic story arc: A woman trying to reconnect with her lost past.
Violence & Scariness
Various characters fight, but typically with silly or sci-fi weapons: A sea dragon makes a whirlpool in the ocean, an alien ship unleashes blindfolds that immobilize soldiers. Violence is often ironic: Creatures chuck arrows at a sea dragon (and miss), shouting, "You make us uncomfortable!"
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Occasional insults: "You suck so much."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Adventure Time: Islands is an eight-episode miniseries that tells a story about characters from the animated show Adventure Time. Focused on friendship and emotional journeys, the series has a gentle enough tone for younger kids. Though they may not catch nuances, they'll still love the candy-colored animation and absurd visual jokes. Violence tends to be of the supernatural/sci-fi type: Giant walking gumdrops shoot an alien ship with green rays, a giant undersea god sucks a ship under the water. Though characters may yell "Oww!," they're usually knocked down and not injured and killed. There's no cursing but some insulting language such as "You suck so much." To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This enchanting entry in the Adventure Time world deepens emotional stakes while serving up absurdity and relatable pain in turns. Finn's past has been alluded to on Adventure Time but never fully explored; here it is: his parents, his upbringing, how he came to Ooo, all wrapped up in an a tale of an epic journey with friends.
It wouldn't be Adventure Time unless it were deeply silly, and it is: Sea creatures talk (and talk, droning on about their ideas for children's books), giant candy monsters guard a seashore, weather attacks, and jellyfish make you see visions but can be punched into the sky. Islands is silly enough, in fact, for very young kids, yet rich and deep enough for adults, who will enjoy seeing nods to sci-fi alternate-reality movies and books such as Mothra, The Matrix, and Ready Player One.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.